Chapin, Harry - Dance Band On The Titanic Lyrics

Dance band on the Titanic
Sing "Nearer, my God, to Thee"
The iceberg's on the starboard bow
Won't you dance with me

Mama stood cryin' at the dockside
Sayin' "Please son, don't take this trip"
I said "Mama, sweet Mama, don't you worry none"
"Even God couldn't sink this ship"

Well, the whistle blew and they turned the screws
It turned the water into foam
Destination sweet salvation
Goodbye home sweet home

I'm in the dance band on the Titanic
Sing "Nearer, my God, to Thee"
The iceberg's on the starboard bow
Won't you dance with me

There was a trombone and a saxophone
The bass and drums were cookin' up the bandstand
And I was strummin' in the middle with this dude on the fiddle
And we were three days out from land

And now the foghorn's jammed and moanin'
Hear it groanin' through the misty night
I heard the lookout shout down "There's icebergs around"
"But still everything's all right"

Oh, the dance band on the Titanic
Sing "Nearer, my God, to Thee"
The iceberg's on the starboard bow
Won't you dance with me

They were burnin' all the flares for candles
In the banquet they were throwin' in first class
And we were blowin' waltzes in the barroom
When the universe went CRASH!

"There's no way that this could happen"
I could hear the old captain curse
He ordered lifeboats away, that's when I heard the chaplain say
"Women and children and chaplains first"

Well, they soon used up all of the lifeboats
But there were a lot of us left on board
I heard the drummer sayin' "Boys, just keep playin'"
"Now we're doin' this gig for the Lord"

I heard the dance band on the Titanic
Sing "Nearer, my God, to Thee"
The iceberg's on the starboard bow
Won't you dance with me

There's a wild-eyed boy in the radio shack
He's the last remaining guest
He was tappin' in a Morse code frenzy
Tappin' "Please God, S.O.S."

Jesus Christ can walk on the water
But a music man will drown
They say that Nero fiddled while Rome burned up
Well, I was strummin' as the ship go down

I'm in the dance band on the Titanic
Sing "Nearer, my God, to Thee"
The iceberg's on the starboard bow
Won't you dance with me

Dance band on the Titanic
Sing "Nearer, my God, to Thee"
The iceberg's on the starboard bow
Won't you dance with me

Dance band on the Titanic
Sing "Nearer, my God, to Thee"
The iceberg's on the starboard bow
Won't you dance with me

Other Lyrics by Artist

Rand Lyrics

Chapin, Harry Dance Band On The Titanic Comments
  1. Bill23799

    In May of 1977 my wife and I drove from New Rochelle to Poughkeepsie, NY to watch Harry Chapin
    play live in concert. We were both big Harry Chapin fans. Near the end of the concert Harry said he had a
    new song that they wanted to play for us that was not yet released on any album.
    That song was " Dance Band On The Titanic " . We all loved it!

    My wife and I got to meet Harry after the concert and got him to sign a book of his poems we had bought.
    All I could think to say to him was " Harry...we named our cat after you " .
    Herry replied " Err.....thanks ". Haha I did think enough to also thank him for all the great stories in his music.
    God Bless you Harry Chapin. Your light went out too soon.

    Harry Chapin's album " Dance Band On The Titanic " came out in September of 1977.
    Of course we bought one.

  2. Julie Mitchell

    I had the album!

  3. Eb theDoc

    Harry Chapin did some good stuff !!! We damn well dug it, back in the day !!! So sad he’s been gone for almost three decades !!!

  4. B T

    I play this song every time my backyard floods.

  5. Mark Benson

    I was a kid in Liverpool, England aged 15 when I first heard this played on Radio City late in the evening - stuck with me ever since, storytelling through song at its best , immortal.

  6. markdelap

    I was raised on Harry's music - back when songs told stories.

  7. Jeffrey E. Salzberg

    "SiNGing". "icebErg's".

  8. Courtney Whiteside

    metaphor for earth right now.

    frank zappa's pussy

    metaphor for the role of the artist in the modern world -
    should they be like the orchestra that played for people on their way into the showers.. or more courageously and less compliantly be like the dance band on the titanic.. or be fundamentally different and really stick their necks out ???


    star trekkin across the universe

  10. The 'Burbs Fan

    Blowin' waltzes...

  11. Beth Dudley

    This was the first tape I bought for the nifty aftermarket 8-Track stereo that I installed in my bright red Chevy Monza during my gap year. The ubiquitous "good, old days".

  12. Antonio Huerta

    I wish this was used on a modern video.

  13. Thomas King

    eff bruce nj. this man had done more charity. he wasn't worth gazillions and took a tax break.


    Not to mention Harry had much more talent that the Bruce. He's more Boss than him.

  14. thaddeus mcgrath

    I remember in the late 70's as a little boy begging my dad to play this song on the big record player, sitting in front of it or dancing to it. I never forget it and always go back with this awesome song. Thanks for sharing!

    neil dover

    One of my dad's favourites too from that era. Brings back lots of lovely memories!

  15. trfesok

    Hilarious, but rather morbid! In my Chapin playlist. Thanks for the upload!

  16. Joshua Plotkin

    Ok, the boy in the radio room survived the sinking. He also took the time to turn off the wireless machine before he left. He always said that he was transmitting up to the moment water began to pour in. UAVs have proven that the wireless device was switched off when she went under, and if he had gone to switch it off as the room filled with water he would have been electrocuted. So the boy abandoned his post. He was a young man who was very afraid and trying to cope with an ineffective captain and an impossible situation. Who wouldn't run?

    Ae Falzon

    Joshua Plotkin wrong conclusion. The water would need to touch the wireless. Just because it was in the room does not mean it was touching the system

  17. Joshua Plotkin

    Nice song. A bit inaccurate, it was a string quartet that played on to keep the passengers calm, no trombone, no saxophone.

    Plasma Storm73

    Joshua Plotkin if you read the book The Band Played On you will learn that it was in fact an 8 piece band and not a string quartet. But you don’t give a shit about accuracy you just want to troll YouTube so you can feel all big and bad.

    Plasma Storm73


    William Mills lol.

    frank zappa's pussy

    its a fecking metaphor
    - thus by its very nature - allowed as much poetic license as the artist sees fit..


    Joshua Plotkin clown

  18. BigDude

    I had the honor of seeing Harry shortly before he was killed in the car accident. He was one in a million.  RIP!

    jay dee

    BigDude, So did I and you are right, really miss his music, he was a class act.

    Courtney Whiteside

    My family was driving on the opposite side of the long island expressway when Harry got hit. My dad and I are huge harry chapin fans, we are from Buffalo, I wasnt born yet.

    Ian Timothy Steelman

    Big johns still around.


    BigDude me too. At sea world, San Diego, CA.

  19. Steve Jordan

    You could spend hours with his songs.  If you haven't, you should.

    Penny Jordan

    Hum, wonder what made you think of this at this time?

    DoomedMandy77: StormFront High Priestess

    @Penny Jordan @Steve Jordan  y'all must be old man & wife!   nice  :-D

  20. Allison Schultz

    This song was my favorite when I was little :) it brings back memories

  21. Mary Taylor

    Love Chapin, love everything he ever sang. A man before his time. Loved Flowers are red. He was a real nice guy in real life and he is still missed.


    I am unanimous in that.

  22. gvr39l

    live and let live

  23. gvr39l

    politics are for losers

  24. Kenny Burleson

    why can you people not enjoy the music without making political comments?


    Kenny Burleson

    John Burris

    Yeah, most people in the USA think they're political experts, despite having little access to the REAL information. LOL

    frank zappa's pussy

    chapin was one of the most passionate and powerful political artists of the 1970's and this was one of his most political songs from his most political album..
    .. so what do you expect..

  25. MegaZiglet

    So agree. I look at our once great nation & think of this song every time. Problem is, so many were fooled again. They were foolish, low information voters. Sigh ....

  26. msattler111

    Yeah........Obama's swan song............

    Sinking ship.........

    Favorite quote......
    Re-electing Obama would be like the Titanic backing up and having another go at the iceberg.

    Won't get fooled again.

    Austin Brant

    Jokes on you 5 years ago America

    Robert Browne

    There is always a dumbass in the crowd. History has proven you wrong, yet again.

  27. airdaleva42

    Saw it the year it premiered, me a lady friend shared the same birthday and went to see it. It was The second of only three movies that made me cry as I watched it.

  28. Oliver V

    My uncle played this song when I was up in San Francisco for a family funeral. The house echoed with Chapin's words, and when I returned home later that week I looked up his songs.

    Amazing singer/songwriter, and while I do love this song, Mr. Tanner is my favorite.

  29. radioace318

    Thank you Ken Batson. 1977 turning me onto this tune at KEEL radio. I have never forgot.

  30. MegaZiglet

    I must be close to your dad's age. I saw Chapin live and even paid to get a kiss from him for charity.

  31. MegaZiglet

    I can't help but think of the plight of the USA when I think of this song. Somehow it seems fitting.

    Thanx for sharing this one. I've been hoping for years to see the CD version on youtube. One of my fav Chapin numbers.

  32. wlynch16

    He wrote and played some great stories!

  33. huntseatonly

    Love this song...and miss Harry Chapin.

  34. huntseatonly

    Love this song! Haven't thought of it in years until now!

  35. wlynch16

    It's the first song I thought of when I heard it was 100 yrs ago today

  36. Steamaddict1603

    R.I.P to all the souls lost 100 years ago tonight and tommorow.

  37. fraankyyuki1

    just saw the 3D premier of Titanic by James Cameron today.
    let me tell you,
    that stuff will make you cry buckets

  38. Eli

    @rtinny987 My dad's the reason for me listing to this song too, but I don't know about you but I actully like it.

  39. rocky

    my dad just told me to look this up

  40. Moghlear

    @23456789Alexis because then people who actually listen to the music would know that in the end the boat sinks. We cant have people know what is going to happen now can we?